Bangkok (NNT/VNA) - Since November 1, the government of Thailand has eased travel restrictions by allowing cruise ships and yachts to enter the country.

The Immigration Bureau reports that around 10 yacht operators have contacted Thai authorities to allow their passengers to disembark. However, they have to undergo strict screening similar to airport procedures.

The Deputy Commissioner of the Immigration Bureau, Pol. Maj. Gen. Archayon Kraithong, said that more than 10 yachts sailing international waters have asked for the bureau’s permission to enter the country’s ports. Most passengers are from Singapore and Malaysia. They want to visit Thailand after the Thai government eased measures to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Starting November 1, international visitors are allowed to enter the country via cruise ships and yachts, under the Special Tourist Visa (STV) arrangement. Thai officials are now inspecting their travel documents, including reservations of accommodation. Once granted permission, the ships will dock in Phuket and Pattaya ports.

Meanwhile, ships docked in countries with a low-risk of COVID-19 infection, can contact Thai embassies and consulates-general for similar assistance. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will issue a certificate of entry into the kingdom to authorised operators, which they can present to the Immigration Bureau.

This year, 268 tourists arrived by air, on October 20, 26 and 28. They underwent screening and quarantine, as required by the Ministry of Public Health. They can now travel in the country. Immigration officers will monitor them regularly. After 90 days, these international visitors must prepare documents, including health examination documents, to apply for a visa extension./.